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At What Age Can Child Be Left in Car Alone?

Kids in the Car: At What Age Is It OK to Leave Child Alone?

It's a pain for a mama to cart her kiddos in and out of the car while running errands, but it's a task that comes with motherhood. Some parents allow their tots to sit tight while they pick up items in clear view while others aren't comfortable with that and lug the little ones everywhere. Though there is much debate and even laws in certain states about latchkey kids and when it's all right to leave children home alone, but when is it appropriate to let them sit unattended in the car?

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Quinn2379185 Quinn2379185 4 years
As much as possible, I don't want to leave my daughter at home alone, but if I did that I'll make it sure she can reach me easily. I would like to share what I have read it talks about kids personal security these might help a lot of mothers like me. Check it out here http://www.tsue-thatswhatshesaid.com/2011/09/keeping-your-child-safe-supporting.html
amber512 amber512 6 years
I think there are too many things that it depends on, like the things mentioned in the post above me.
amaebi519 amaebi519 6 years
All valid points - but if only for the sake of presenting a different viewpoint, I'd say this depends on a few things: how long you'll be out of the car (obviously!), whether or not you can see your car from inside, your local laws, local temperature/climate (this is a biggie), the temperament of your child, the safety of the neighborhood...even whether or not you have command start (i.e. to lock the door from the outside with climate control set up and playing a CD your child likes). I know I'm overprotective about some things (even though I try not to be!), but if I were going in to pay for gas, pick up some takeout, or use a cash machine, etc., I would possibly leave even a baby in the car. Actually, I consider it safer to leave my toddler in the car while I go into 7-11 because I'd rather not walk her back to the parking lot when I can't hold her hand securely because I'm carrying stuff. Parking lots and sidewalks near busy streets...those worry me a lot more!
bryseana bryseana 6 years
My nephew is almost 9 and don't leave him alone in the car. I'm over protective.
ngocnguyen ngocnguyen 6 years
So many things could go wrong, maybe it's just me being a pessimist, but I would be so worried about leaving a child alone in the car.
stephley stephley 6 years
My sister got a $500 ticket for leaving her 7-year old in the car while she ran into a 7-11 - and that was 12 years ago. I just googled this, and got this from Texas Dept of Family & Protective Services. "We do not recommend leaving a child in a motor vehicle for any length of time. If children are trapped inside cars, especially during seriously hot weather, it can result in heat exhaustion or heat stroke, leading to permanent disability or death in a matter of minutes. Heat stroke, also known as hyperthermia, can cause shock, seizures, irregular heartbeat, heart attack, and damage to the brain, liver, and kidneys. Leaving a child in a vehicle is punishable under the Texas Penal Code, Title 5, Chapter 22, Section 10 LEAVING A CHILD IN A VEHICLE. A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly leaves a child in a motor vehicle for longer than five minutes, knowing that the child is: younger than seven years of age; and not attended by an individual in the vehicle who is 14 years of age or older. An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor. If the child is injured, the charge is then elevated to child endangerment, which is a felony. The penalties are six months to two years in jail and a fine up to $10,000. Leaving a child unattended in a car is also a form of neglectful supervision." Probably just shouldn't do it.
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